Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.
This time: Zai x 10, by Yamauchi Yasunobu
Back in 2012, an anime by the name of Daily Lives of Highschool Boys came out. Nobody really paid much attention to it but apparently it was quite the underrated gem. After reading Zai x 10, I really think I need to go back and see what I was missing.
Zai x 10, written by the same author, is a series of episodic vignettes starring a different heroine in some of the most absurdly hilarious situations I’ve ever read. Ranging from bank tellers and assassins to airline stewardesses and magical girls, each chapter focuses on some kind of bizarre crime happening to them or being committed by them. The bank teller can’t tell that a bank robber is serious, a kidnapped girl gives her would be tormentors a hard time, an airline stewardess calls upon the various magical girls, ninjas, and aliens aboard her flight to help stop a hijacking. Honestly, summarizing it by written word is probably doing it a terrible service, so you’ll probably just have to take my word on it.
Verdict: Simple. Funny.
There’s a reason I can’t really say much about Zai x 10. With absolutely no plot to speak of, it’s biggest strength are its visual gags and absurdist humor that can only be appreciated by reading it. If you enjoyed the likes of Nichijou or Arakawa Under the Bridge, Zai x 10 is the kind of comedy that scratches that itch. It’s self aware, ridiculous, and plays with Japanese comedy tropes in a way that makes them feel fresh. Anyone who’s familiar with (and maybe tired of) Japanese humor will appreciate Zai x 10’s particular brand of comedy. I found myself genuinely laughing with almost every chapter.
The manga is actually still ongoing and the latest chapters seem to start tying together the various heroines in increasingly absurd scenarios. Whether this goes into a full blown narrative or not, I can’t tell you, but the newer chapters are just as hilarious as the episodic ones. As of now, there are less than 20 chapters and with each chapter running at less than 20 pages, it’s something you can finish in under an hour. Humor is subjective and different from person to person, but if this kind of humor is your thing, it can’t hurt to give it a look.